8 Practical Tips For Caring Hibiscus During Rainy Season

Hibiscus locally called as Gumamela is one of the top 10 all time favorite flowering shrub in the country. Growers can encounter some problems during rainy or wet season in the Philippines.

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The most common colors are red, pink, yellow,magenta and intermediate colors. There are some native hibiscus in the country, While hundreds of hybrids origin being cultivated in many homes, public parks, cemeteries, schools, resorts and estates. The flowers does not last long, most of the hybrid cultivars only last for a day or so.

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Hibiscus rosa-sinensis hybrid or Gumamelang Pula planted as hedge plant within Manila Memorial Park

Some Feng Shui practitioners recommend planting reddish color, bright yellow color gumamela. Depending on the position of one’s property to create harmony in colors and balance within the household.

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double petal pink Gumamela  ( photo courtesy of King Louis Farm and Sir Lebon Ong)

8 Practical Tips for Caring Hibiscus /Gumamela

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yellow color 

8.) One can grow their gumamela / hibiscus directly on garden plot or in potted terracotta/ plastic containers. This allows growers to move the containers in ideal location or focal point in one’s home or office when the plant is in bloom. Providing at between 6 to 8 hours of sunlight.

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Hibiscus Taiwan Cloud Cotton

7.) Gumamela requires 50% loam/garden/brown soil with combination of 20% sandy mix, 30% compost, aged cow or carabao manure, aged rice hull, coco coir and vermicast for the rest of the potting mixture. Mulching is recommended for gumamela planted outdoors because it not only provides a lot of protection for the roots, but it also helps the plant retain the moisture, especially if grown in garden type setting.

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peach color

6.) Fertilize weekly using a variety of water soluble fertilizer 20N, 20P, 20K or 10N-10P-10K, (whichever is available) diluted into 1/2 or 1/4 strength during its growing season or flowering season. One may add few teaspoon of slow release fertilizer or compost mixture as fertilizer for the plant. For blooming gumamela plants, a ratio of 20N-30P-30K water soluble fertilizer, trace elements, calcium nitrate, epson salt can also be applied alternately.

Another good brand is Naturamin which enables hibiscus or gumamela to absorb the nutrients. This is also good in other plants like Syngonium podophyllum, flowering plants, orchids, crops and fruits trees.

Avoid using skim milk, beer, Monosodium glutamate (MSG), urine or any home base fertilizer mixture as these can eventually kill your Gumamela or Hibiscus in no time.

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tangerine color

5.) Regular pruning is also required when the shrub grow lush during rainy season. One can schedule a monthly pruning period. Try to sterilize your pruning shears, knife or cutter before using them.

4.) Try to regular check for pest such as aphids, white flies, scale insects, mealybugs, caterpillars, thrips or even spider mites. These insects can eat parts of the flowers, leaves or stems of gumamela.

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3.) Potted hibiscus / gumamela plant with flowers can be enjoyed for a limited time period. Interior decorator suggest that one can put them inside their homes between 1 to 3 days. Near windows where there is bright light.

a humidity tray if you have dry air conditions inside of your house to ensure the plant is getting all of the moisture it needs to thrive.

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single petal yellow variety

2.) Propagation is quite easy. One can propagate via cuttings, air layering or seeds during the onset of the rainy season, or when one prunes their gumamela shrub. Find a node and cut about six-inches below that and then remove everything except the very top leaves. Another way is to graft different colored gumamela.

1.) Avoid over watering, Especially during this rainy season. This can cause a lot of problems like root rotting and fungal problems. When in doubt, one can forgo watering for at least a day or so. Gumamela needed well- drained soil if planted in garden type setting.

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pale pink form

Economic Importance and Ethno Botanical Uses

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Hibiscus Red Double

Hibiscus syriacus is the national flower of South Korea while Hibiscus rosa-sinensis is the national flower of Malaysia. Hibiscus brackenridgei is the state flower of Hawaii, While it is a national symbol in Haiti, Solomon and Niue.

Hibiscus, Gumamela, Rose Mallow or Rose of Sharon and hybrids are commonly use to beautify the landscape.  Blooming gumamela can also serves as focal point in one’s office or public area.

The flowers is used by children in many parts of the country as part of a bubble-making pastime. The flowers and leaves are crushed until the sticky juices come out, adding 1 tablespoon detergent to make bubble.

Some would use the flowers to make edible flower salad. Flowers and young leaves are also use by some for their medicinal properties. In some parts of the country, flowers are use for offering in home altars and as lei for welcoming guests.

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Hibiscus manihot or Abelmoschus manihot

Abelmoschus manihot formerly known as Hibiscus manihot is eaten in ( Quezon / Tayabas area) called Sapinit, Lagikuway. Bicol region and some parts of Ilocos region. Some Visayan provinces also use the flowers for souring agent in soup. In Surigao provinces it is called Lagikway, Lagikuway,Baniwayun. It is called Malaguhon / Malaguhun ( Han.) and Linikway/ Barakue ( Bng) Glikway/ Gikugguse (Sub) in other Philippine languages.

The flower is used as souring ingredient or add on for local vegetables, soup or meat dishes. The dish had a slippery texture like okra.

Although not so common within Metro Manila region. This species grow in semi-wild state in open grassland,cultivated fields and in rural areas all throughout the country.

University of the Philippines Los Baños had been active in breeding hibiscus and came up with several series which pay tributes to great women of the country.

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Php 8.00 block of 4, Gumamela flowers issued by Philippine Postal Corporation in 1991

Philippine Postal Corporation released several definitive and special stamps in 1991, 2015 and 2018. This is a proof that gumamela or hibiscus is popular among thematic stamp collectors. Some mural painters also painted on the long perimeter wall of Manila North Cemetery last October 2019 dubbed as ” Flores para Los Muertos“.

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yellow with red center

Hibiscus tea is an herbal tea made as an infusion from crimson or deep magenta-colored calyces (sepals) of the roselle or Hibiscus sabdariffa flower. Sometimes called Karkade tea or Jamaica tea.

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Hibiscus sabdariffa popularly known as Roselle- grown by the author from seeds

There are also several Fb groups which specializes in Hibiscus or Gumamela.

Gumamela plants and hybrids are commonly available in many garden centers like in Tabang, Guiguinto,Bulacan Garden,Bay,Calamba,Los Baños in Laguna, Silang, Cavite province, Mindanao Avenue Garden Center, Araneta Farmer’s Garden, Quezon City Memorial Circle,White Plains garden center,Neopolitan, Fairview, Rona’s Garden in Visayas Avenue,Cartimar Garden Center in Pasay, Centris Sunday Market, neighborhood homes and backyard nationwide.

Some big time propagators includes Pagsolingan Garden, Arids and Aroid, Bulacan Garden, Mr. Rey Tester among others.

References, Sources, Bibliography:

Interview and photo courtesy of the following: King Louis, Mr. Rodrigo Joseph Bautista, Mr.Lebon Ong, Arids Aroid, Mac Pagsolingan,Mr. Rey Tester, Ms. Naida Delma and the author

Personal interview with backyard growers, hobbyists and farm owners.

Wonning, Paul R. (March 3, 2014) Gardener’s Guide To The Hibiscus: Perennial Hibiscus Flower Care ( ( Gardener”s Guide to the Full Sun Perennial Flower Garden Book 12) Mossy Feet Books.

V. M. Jadhav et al. / Journal of Pharmacy Research 2009, 2(8),1220-1222

University of the Philippines Los Baños : https://ovcre.uplb.edu.ph/

Sunset Western Garden Book, 1995:606–607

Steiner, Mona Lisa, PHD;Care, M &L Licudine Enterprises, First Edition 1952, Second Edition 1960, Third Edition 1986, Atlag, Malolos , Bulacan. Gumamela Family (Malvaceae) pages 173 to 174, Philippine Ornamental Plants And Their Care.

Madulid, Domingo; Winner, National Book Award, Science, 1995. Revised Edition, 2000 with 388 pages. Malvaceae pages 240 to 244 Bookmark, Makati, A Pictorial Cyclopedia of Philippine Ornamental Plants.

Lawton, Barbara Perry (2004). Hibiscus: Hardy and Tropical Plants for the Garden. Timber Press. p. 36. ISBN 978-0-88192-65-45.

International Hibiscus Society

C Les Beers & Jim Howie: Growing Hibiscus (1985 and 1990), Reprinted 1986, 1987
Second edition published 1990, First published in 1985 by Kangaroo Press Pty Ltd
3 Whitehall Road (P. 0. Box 75) Kenthurst 2156, Typeset by G. T Setters Pty Limited
Printed in Hong Kong by Colorcraft Ltd, ISBN 0 86417 278 8

Brickell, Christopher, ed. (2008). The Royal Horticultural Society A-Z Encyclopedia of Garden Plants. United Kingdom: Dorling Kindersley. p. 534. ISBN 978-14053329-65

Bulacan Garden Corporation

American Hibiscus Society

8 Fun Facts about Epipermum pinnatum

Epipermum pinnatum is a common plant found in many areas of Asia like Southern China, Japan, Taiwan, Malaysia, Indo-China region, Indonesia,Tropical India, Melanesia region, Papua New Guinea and the Philippines.

In other parts of the world like Hawaii, West Indies, tropical Americas and Southern parts of the United States of America. This plant had become invasive in much of the areas where it was introduced. Epipermum pinnatum engulf vegetation killing out native weeds, plants, moss,lichen and shading-out native trees killing them slowly.

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Epipermum pinnatum is called Malapakpak-balaua, lukmoi, lukmoy, tibatib or tampinbanal in Tagalog speaking region.

Common names includes dragon-tail plant, centipede tongavine ( English), tibatib, lukmoi,lukmoy tampinbanal ( Tagalog),Malapakpak-balauai ( Tagalog) bisako ( Bisaya). It is a member of the Araceae family, same family as Caladiums.

IMAGEEpipermun pinnatum -young leaves

Lukmoi/ lukmoy/ tibatib/ tampinbanal /bakag spend part of its life cycle in the canopy or ground as seeds are disperse by birds and insects. Using suitable host trees, palms, wall, fences to cling on. It is considered as a hemiepiphyte.

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Epipermum pinnatum cling on a dead palm

Eventually clinging to host trees by sending roots downwards. Humans and sometimes some mammals also help spread the plant by cuttings, plant fragments, and/or discarded plant parts. Sometimes called Rhaphidophora pinnata L. Schott ( synomym) according to the website the plantlist.org by Kew Garden.

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8 Fun Facts about Epipermum pinnatum

8.) Teeth -Blackening: The vine is used by in some Asian countries like in Java, Bali in Indonesia, aboriginal tribes of Taiwan and lumads in Mindanao island where it is considered a standard for beauty.

7.) Food -Some Aeta tribes in Central Luzon and Northern Luzon in the Philippines would eat the young leaves and use the inner stem for handicraft.

6.) Traditional Medicine – In some parts of China , it is used for traditional medicine for dysentery, rheumatism and fractures.

5.) Indoor Plant– It is used as indoor plant in United States and other countries.

4.) Basket and Handicraft – The central stems of the root is used for several handicraft like basketry, lamp shades, mat, rope, accessories throughout its native range.

3.) Allergy -Some people are allergic to the sap. Sap is also sometimes use as a cure for snake bites.

2.) Leaves are used for flower arrangements and decor. Large leaves are sometimes sold in Dangwa market in Sampaloc, Manila. some local florist would substitute them for Philodendron.

1.) Some unscrupulous sellers would easily pass this as Epipermum pinnatum ” Cebu Blue”, BLUE Pothos, Monstera deliciosa or Philodendron bipinnatifidum both of which are native in tropical Mexico to South America.

Sources, Bibliography and References:

Peppard, Terry (1992). “Volatile flavor constituents of Monstera deliciosa“. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. 40 (2): 257–262.

Madulid, Domingo; Winner, National Book Award, Science, 1995. Revised Edition, 2000 with 388 pages. ARACEAE Page90, Bookmark, Makati, A Pictorial Cyclopedia of Philippine Ornamental Plants.

Moodie, G. E. E. (1976). “Heat production and pollination in Araceae”. Canadian Journal of Botany. 54 (5–6): 545–6. doi:10.1139/b76-053.

Steiner, Mona Lisa, PHD;Care, M &L Licudine Enterprises, First Edition 1952, Second Edition 1960, Third Edition 1986, Atlag, Malolos , Bulacan. Epipermum pinnatum page 142, Philippine Ornamental Plants And Their Care.

Brown, D. (1988). Aroids: Plants of the Arum Family. Portland, OR: Timber Press, 1988

10 Interesting Places to Visit and Stay in Tuguegarao

Tuguegarao is the capital city of Cagayan province. There are a lot of historical places, museum, churches and natural wonders for any visitor or tourist visiting the place.

The fastest way to visit the city is via air by taking domestic flights. While the most interesting and scenic places can be captured via land routes.

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Van Gob statue near Robinson’s Mall -Tuguegarao

We took the exciting 9 hours trip from Cubao, Quezon City to Tuguegarao City with one stopover at San Jose City, Nueva Ecija province.Land travel from Metro Manila may vary from 8 hours to 12 hours depending on how fast or slow the driver due to ( road construction and traffic).

In our short stay in the city, We managed to visit these places.

10 Interesting Places to Visit & Stay in Tuguegarao City

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Buntun Bridge and Cagayan River

10.) Buntun Bridge and Cagayan River – This is considered as the second longest bridge in the country with length of 1,369 m (4,491 ft) with 15 spans. It also provides panoramic view of the Cagayan river which is the longest and widest river system in the country.

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Boy Kanin at the WOW Tuguegarao standee

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WOW Tuguegarao standee at night

9.) WOW Tuguegarao Standee–  This is an iconic landmark to get a selfie or groupie when you are within the city. The standee is located near two important fast-food restaurants and mall.

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tricycles

8.) Tricycle and Calesa ride – We managed to ride in one of the colorful tricycles which ply the major streets in the city.

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7.) Cagayan Museum and Historical Research Center- This is located within 5 kilometers within the city’s centro district.

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Ms. Lorie I. Decena (Museum Researcher I -Cagayan Museum and Research Center)

The museum and research center was conceived by the Provincial Board in 1971 and became operational on its inauguration on August 15, 1973 during the traditional Aggao na Cagayan.

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stone age tools and animals found in the province

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Homo erectus skull replica

The museum is divided into several sections and theme

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primary and secondary burial jars

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Homo luzonensis

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farming tools

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religious statues, ecclesiastical items and vestments

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ethnic group

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portion of the building which used to be jail

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fountain area and outer courtyard

This is one of the few buildings in the country which used to house a jail  with free guided tour service when one visit the city. There is no entrance fees collected in the museum.

Address: Otis corner and Aguinaldo street, Tuguegarao, Cagayan

Operations – Mondays to Friday 8:00 am to 12:00nn and 1:00pm to 5:00 pm

Contact: (078) 846-73-37

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6.) Plaza Rizal and Monument- This monument was erected more than 100 years-ago in August 17, 1918 during the incumbency of Governor Honorio Lasam. Dr. Jose Rizal’s had an overcoat and at the foot of the statue had four Filipina ladies in period costume which represents (virtues): Prudence (Katalinuhan), Justice (Katarungan), Fortitude (Tibay ng Loob) and Temperance (Pagtitimpi).

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details at the base of the monument

The design was inspired from the design of Mr. Carlo Nicoli. The base of the monument was made from adobe stones.

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The monument is erected just in front of the Cagayan Museum and Research Center,Tuguegarao Cathedral, schools, sports complex and important historical areas within the city.

Sources: Cagayan Museum and Historical Research Center, Historical Marker
Cagayan Heritage Conservation Society (Mr. Prince Wilson Macarubbo and Mr. Kevin Domingo) Ms. Lorie Decena.

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5.) Tuguegarao Horno– This is a place where bricks kilns are made and fired during the Spanish colonial regime. Most of the bricks were used in the churches and government buildings of the city.

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Saint Peter and Paul Cathedral

4.) Tuguegarao Cathedral- Also called Saint Peter and Paul Cathedral. This was built in the mid-18th century with bricks, adobe, mortal and stones.

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historical marker

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facade

High relief pilasters with alternating smooth and Solomonic/swisted design

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bricks

The cathedral sustained a lot of damage during the second world war during the aerial bombings by the Japanese forces on December 8, 1941 and during the liberation of the city in 1945.

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Address: Rizal Street, Barangay Centro 10, Tuguegarao City

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Lighthouse Cooperative

3.) Lighthouse Cooperative and Financial district – Lighthouse cooperative is located within the city ceter, One can buy products made in Tuguegarao or within the province.

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Tuguegarao City

2.) Ancestral Houses, Post Modern Mid-Century Buildings -There are few ancestral houses and mid-century buildings located within the downtown area. This is due to many factors, One is the city was heavily destroyed by the Japanese during the second world war, destructive fire and typhoons which destroyed many old buildings and houses.

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mid-century ancestral house

According to our tour guide, Typhoon Lawin left a big portion of the province without power for more than two months.

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1.) Hotel Carmelita– is located within the heart of the city. The hotel is just beside a bus company and features a restaurant, bar, a shared lounge, garden, convention place, venue place, swimming pool and 24 hour Boy Kanin restaurant.

All of these places are accessible within 15 to 20 minute drive or commute from the hotel premises.  WOW Tuguegarao standee is just 10 minute walk from the place.

Several well-known celebrities like Mr. DJ Durano and other personalities had stayed at the hotel.

Contact: 0917 572 2777 / (078) 844-1024

Address: # 9 Diversion Road Balzain, Tuguegarao City, Cagayan 3500

National Animals Carabao and Elephant featured in RP and Thailand 70th Diplomatic Issue

The joint issue between Philippines and Thailand which commemorates the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries.

The stamp which features carabao and an elephant, the national animals of the Philippines and Thailand respectively. The stamp and first day cover launched in a ceremony at the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on June 14, 2019 Friday.

ceremonial shaking of hands and stamp presentation

The event was attended by Thai Ambassador Vasin Ruangprateepsaeng, Department of Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Enrique Manalo and PHLPost Assistant Postmaster General Luis Carlos.

Carabao and Elephant

The carabao and the elephant were selected not only for their status as the national animals of the Philippines and Thailand, but also for the values they embody.

In Thailand, the elephant is regarded as sacred and symbolizes the country’s glory, history and culture.

The carabao represents strength of character and perseverance of the Filipino people.

The animals symbolize the strong friendship of the two countries,which was established on June 14, 1949.

Philippine-Thailand ties have progressed through various areas including economics, commerce, security and cultural matters.

Thailand is one of the Philippines’ major trading partners.

The two countries are founding members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, which was established in Bangkok in 1967.

first day cover and stamp sheetlet

stamps, souvenir sheet and first day covers form a complete collection. Philippines- Carabao had a denomination of Php 45.00 while the Elephant had a face value of Php 12.00 can the stamp can be used in sending letters, postcards or parcels.

The year-long celebration will also mark stamp exchange exhibition between the two postal authorities, forum and cultural presentation.

The stamps, first day covers can be purchased at the Manila Central Post Office in Liwasang Bonifacio, Ermita, Manila.

50th Years of Diplomatic ties of Philippines and Singapore on stamps

The Philippine Postal Corporation (PHLPost) and the Republic of Singapore issued a joint Commemorative Stamps to celebrate the 50th anniversary of both countries friendship and close bilateral ties.

 To symbolize the two nation’s diplomatic relations, the stamps will feature the popular butterflies’ Cethosia luzonica or the “Luzon lacewing butterfly” which represents the Philippines, and Pachllopta aristolochiae or the “common rose butterfly” to embody Singapore.

Around the world, people view the butterfly as representing endurance, change, hope, and life.

The relationships between the two countries for the past five (5) decades remain vibrant, and have grown stronger through the years.

The diplomatic relations were formally established between the Philippines and Singapore on May 16, 1969. The two countries were present during the establishment of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) making them both founding members.

Mr. Chee Wee Kiong, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Singapore, Philippine Ambassador Joseph Del Mar Yap, PHLPost Chairman of the Board of Directors Norman Fulgencio, Singapore Post Senior Vice President Marjorie Ooi, IMDA Deputy Director Ruth Wong, and PHLPost Business Lines Department Manager, Maximo Sta. Maria has jointly launched the commemorative stamps of both countries.

PHLPost Chairman Norman Fulgencio and Business Lines Department Manager, Maximo Sta. Maria visited the Lion City to formally presented the Souvenir Frame of the joint commemorative stamps.

PHLPost has printed 5,000 copies of the special commemorative stamps designed by PHLPost In-house graphic artist Rodine C. Teodoro, sold for P114.00 each.

Limited copies of Souvenir sheets and official first day covers of Philippines-Singapore 50 years of Diplomatic relationship are now available at the Philatelic Counter, Manila Central Post Office.